My depression and obsession with the past, advice?

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My depression and obsession with the past, advice?

Postby GotName » Wed May 04, 2011 8:38 am

I suffer from clinical depression, I've been on meds for a few years now, but I'm still having problems. I do have a psychiatrist and am gonna try changing therapist as hes useless and untrustworthy. I am asking here for a wider variety of opinions (rather than being told to forget about it, which I have been unable to do). If I get good advice I will discuss it with the people I see.

To start off, I had a horrible time in high school, bullied and isolated, had to change school. Never made friends since then and am quite paranoid, even 10 years later. I can't stop thinking about this period of my life, I guess I repressed it at the time.

I feel embarrassed because I was a bad friend, I betrayed trust with secrets, I cared more about girls than my friends, I bored the friends with my obsession over these two girls at school that I never intended to ask out. I also had very bad personal hygiene.
Even when I started talking to one of the girls, I also betrayed the trust of her, I told everyone I thought she fancied me and also told the fellas that she had said she liked, that she liked them. I had a big mouth.
In the end stories were spread about me that weren't true, in part because I poorly explained what actually happened and left myself open to their bull****. I even feel guilty about that despite the fact that I didn't do anything wrong, that's how strong minded I am!
I'm also embarrassed that I didn't learn to fight at the time in order to stand up for myself.
I have thoughts that something else happened that made people turn against me, I have thought about contacting one of my old friends to find out, but is that a good idea? Is it really gonna change anything, even in my thoughts and emotions, if I find out that there was another reason that was justifiable in making everyone hate me?

I feel guilty because I betrayed those people, who were friends at the time. My mother passed away shortly before the depression became very severe. I treated her badly when she was alive and I didn't feel there was much love between us, even though she was the only one in my family that I really spoke to. I suppose in some ways she suffered the talkback that resulted from the bullying.
I guess it doesn't help that my tosser of a father likes to recall that I mistreated my mother. The reality is I treated her badly through my childhood because of the example him and my older brother set, of course he doesn't remember this.

I'm pretty obsessed with the past and feel the urge to contact these people, as if I can make things right and somehow I will be setup with a girlfriend, which I still have never had. Despite this, I know I would never trust any of those people as friends again, and really don't want them in my life. Still the thoughts don't stop.

I was abused as a child and haven't told any of the therapists this. I don't know if this could be part of why I feel inadequate regarding women, even though I didn't even remember that it happened until a few years ago. Could that be a root problem?
I've been told many many times that I'm ugly (for some reason mostly by other fellas, which I don't understand), so I ended up thinking there was something wrong with me and that no girl would ever want me. Or was it that my initial experiences with girls went badly because my personal hygiene was so poor? And therefore set myself up with poor confidence and therefore never having a girlfriend?

I find it difficult to move on, I suppose largely due to the fact that I've still never made new friends. I was shy before this all happened, then I got bullied which made me worse. I would love to make new friends and I do try. I do some classes and at least noone there hates me! Still no friends though.

I don't work due to my depression and this is good and bad. I'm very afraid of working, dealing with pressure and people, but it also means I have little to do and spend too much time with my horrible father. I sometimes think I would love to move out, but that scares me too, being alone and having to look after everything myself.
I back down and think, just spend less time with my father, but he really just controls me, so it's hard to get away while living here.

I'm confused. I seem to be obsessed and dunno if even changing medication will change this. If meds can't change it, how can I forgive myself, come to terms with the wrongs I've done and felt?
I think it's important that I make friends, but the course of CBT I had hasn't magically made me socially optimist.
Fear I suppose also holds me back regarding living alone.

Can I use the CBT stuff to balance the evidence regarding whether I should feel guilty or ashamed? I only dealt with Social anxieties during my course of CBT, would I need another course with a therapist focusing on my emotions and obsession with the past?


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Postby jj » Wed May 04, 2011 5:41 pm

hey GotName

sorry to hear about the bullying you went through and also the abuse.
i think in terms of the feeling guilt for the past, that was a very long time ago, and you are obviously a different person now, so i dont think you need to hold onto this guilt any longer. you didnt in my opinion really do anything that bad, school is very hard, with your peers around you, trying to fit in and be accepted, i dont think telling a guy a girl likes him is the worlds biggest crime.

i dont know if contacting them would be a good idea, i mean like you said, would it even change anything, its still gunna hurt that you didnt get on with people anymore, no matter what the reason is. it depends how badly you want some closure and if you think you could even get some closure from talking to your buddies. i can see how you feel guilty for telling your friends secrets but that was 10 years ago, im sure they have moved on and forgiven you, and i dont think you should hold this guilt any longer..

what has your therapists said about all this guilt you hold onto?

and i think the abuse you suffered when you were a child certainly has something to do with your issues and depression, and this is definitely (when you feel ready) something you should tell the therapist.

i think getting therapy for the emotions and obsession with the past is v v v important, how can you move forward with your life, move on, and away from depression, if you are holding so very tightly onto the past.

hope some of this feedback was ok!



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Postby shatteredhopes » Fri May 06, 2011 3:38 pm

I have some suggestions for you from what I haved learned from my 12 step program and from therapy.

First sit down and make a list of all the wrongs you have done to others, real or perceived. Add to it as you think of others over several days. Then take some time on how you would or will make 'amends' for each one.

For example, amends can be a prayer or letter to the person that you will never send, but knowing that you would do or say something and apologize to this person if you had the opportunity. For some, you may want to perform some specific thinking as you do it I am picking up this litter off the ground and properly disposing of it in your honor as a token of apology, I am sending this contribution to charity for so and so, I am volunteering at this animal shelter for this person, or opening the door for someone at this restaurant in memory of whomever. Whatever acts you can think of as you deem appropriate. Then whenever you find yourself beating yourself up over the things you have done, immediately force yourself to think in the same instant of that good deed you did. Amends can also be living amends. Everyday forward you live differently and do differently as you are changed person from the mistakes you have made. We all make mistakes. As Maya Angelou says "when you know better, you do better." This is one of the best things you can do to honor those you have wronged, live differently now and know and remind yourself you are a changed person and if presented with the same choices, you would and will choose differently today.

One thing a therapist said that had great impact on me, imagine for a minute someone else in your exact circumstances who did what you did. Wouldn't you have compassion for that person? What would you say to that person? That helped me learn to forgive myself. Forgiving ourselves can be one of the hardest things we have to do, and requires work. But it is essential for healing. I know for me, on my good days I am okay with myself, on my bad days, I am very very hard on myself and my confidence is shot. So give yourself a little break knowing that with any form of mental illness, the way we see ourselves as so horrible are not necessarily the way others see us. If someone compliments you, don't argue, just say thank you. Maybe jot that down in a notebook you keep of good things and look at it when feeling low. Maybe write down things you are grateful for or that you accomplish, no matter how small they may seem. For me, sometimes I am so down even bathing is an accomplishment. So I pat myself on the back when I can for any acheivement large or small.

If you choose to do the amends, after you write down next to each one what you will or would can burn the list and let the ashes fly in the air as a way of letting go, or you can keep it in a safe place.

But try not to be too hard on yourself. Growing up is a process of learning, and we all makes mistakes. That's how we learn. The real issue is, did you learn from your mistakes so that you won't repeat them? Are you a better person today? I think so, otherwise you wouldn't feel so bad about the mistakes you previously made. Some do harm and feel no remorse. It is a testament to your character and fundamental goodness that you have some honest regret. Just do what you can to let that become mild regret to remind you to do better today, but not beat yourself up.

Wishing you light and peace in your day.
"Sorrow floats" John Irving

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